Barry Roche column: Festive period full of ups and downs

The players take to the field at Plainmoor. Picture: Mike Williamson
The players take to the field at Plainmoor. Picture: Mike Williamson
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The festive football fixtures were full of ups and downs for us but that is nothing new where we are concerned.

The home game on Boxing Day was definitely one of the highlights of the season.

Everybody knows about Fleetwood’s financial prowess and they have assembled a squad that have been quite rightly tipped as one of the favourites for promotion.

But for the first 45 minutes there was only one team in it and we deservedly went in a goal to the good at the break.

It was a different story after the break and we spent large parts of the second half on the back foot.

But the lads in front of me defended absolutely brilliantly and threw their bodies in front of anything that moved and that determination was summed up by Hughesy’s (Mark Hughes) brilliant last-minute goalline clearance.

The first-half against Hartlepool three days later couldn’t have been more contrasting.

We never got going and were completely outplayed. We improved significantly after the break but after clawing our way back into the game thanks to Big Jack’s (Sampson) goal we stupidly threw away a very important point.

We should have been professional enough to have shored things up after the equaliser and taken a draw.

The less said about the York game the better. We were very comfortable without overly threatening at the other end but conceded a soft goal and gave the home side and fans a massive lift.

We huffed and puffed in the second half but struggled to really get a foothold in the game.

The condition of the pitch at Torquay on Saturday made playing neat football almost impossible.

Due to the state of the playing surface the game was always going to be a 
real battle. Torquay are fighting for their lives and they really took the game to us.

But we hung in there, riding our luck at times, and eventually got our reward thanks to a wonder strike from Robbie Threlfall.

It was important for us to stop the run of defeats and it certainly made the long journey home a lot more enjoyable.